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Confederations Cup

  • June 15, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Estádio Nacional de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal
  • Referee: Pedro Proença
  • • Attendance: 67423
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Brazil-Japan Preview: Samba Boys raise Confederations Cup curtain

Brazil-Japan Preview: Samba Boys raise Confederations Cup curtain

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The rehearsal for next year's World Cup finals gets underway with the Selecao hoping to build on the momentum gained from their recent victory over France

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

BRAZIL

Julio Cesar
Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marcelo
Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo
Hulk, Oscar, Neymar
Fred
JAPAN

Kawashima
Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Nagatomo
Endo, Hasebe
Okazaki, Honda, Kagawa
Maeda

It has been an underwhelming start to Luiz Felipe Scolari's second spell in charge of Brazil, but there are suggestions that the Selecao may finally have turned a corner.

Brazil came under fire for their leaky defence and inability to see off matches - as shown by their run of only one win in the former Chelsea coach's six games since his return.

However, a recent 3-0 victory over France has provided the perfect backdrop to Saturday's 2013 Confederations Cup opener, which will be hosted against Asian Cup champions Japan.

Thus, with Brazil firing on all cylinders against les Bleus on Sunday, expect an unchanged XI despite minor doubts about Neymar's fitness following knee complaints.

Meanwhile for their opponents Japan, who recently edged past Iraq to end a run of three matches without a win, they will line up with all their big guns - including Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo.

The pair had been missing from Samurai Blue contention, but they have successfully overcome knocks to represent their country this weekend.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • This will be Brazil's sixth consecutive appearance at the Confederations Cup.
  • The Selecao have won both of the last two editions in 2005 and 2009 respectively, as well as the 1997 competition.
  • Brazil gained automatic qualification to the tournament via their status as host nation.
  • This is Japan's fourth appearance at the World Cup dress rehearsal.
  • The furthest they have gone in the tournament is a runners-up finish in 2001.
  • Japan secured their place in the Confederations Cup over two years ago thanks to an Asian Cup triumph in 2011.

Players to watch

Oscar

Position: Midfielder

Games: 5

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With Neymar failing to live up to his billing in recent matches, the onus has been moved onto Oscar ahead of the Confederations Cup. The Chelsea midfielder will once again take up residency in behind Fred and continue to press his claim as the heir to Kaka. His well-taken finish in the 3-0 victory over France earlier in the week will no doubt fill the ex-Internacional man with confidence.

S. Kagawa

Position: Midfielder

Games: 3

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
A close call with Honda, the Manchester United attacker gets the nod over the CSKA man as he remains an unknown quantity on the world stage - unlike his team-mate who starred at the last World Cup. Kagawa has all the tools to cause Brazil problems, with his eye for a pass, silky technique and lightning movement more than capable of unlocking the Selecao defence at any given moment.

Editor's Prediction

With Samba fever finally dawning upon us, expect Brazil to immerse themselves in the aurora of hosting an international tournament and put on a show against the Japanese to bring the curtains down on the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Brazil

Japan

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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